A wave of protests lashed the central districts on Monday as students boycotted classes and took to streets to organise rallies condemning the Central and State governments over the NEET issue and holding them responsible for the suicide of medical aspirant S.Anitha of Ariyalur district. The protesters wanted an end to NEET in the State.
In Tiruchi, the police barricaded and closed for traffic the Anna Nagar Link Road, the venue of pro-jallikattu protests in January, to prevent students from assembling there. Nine students who apparently came there to stage a protest were detained.
About 250 students of engineering colleges were detained for staging protests near Samayapuram along the Tiruchi-Chennai National Highways and 80 students of Government Law College were taken into custody when they attempted to take out a protest procession, and confined in a marriage hall at K.K. Nagar. Complaining of violation of their rights, the students registered an online complaint with the National Human Rights Commission.
About 500 students of St. Joseph’s College staged a protest near the entrance, demanding exemption from NEET for Tamil Nadu. Similar protests were held by students of EVR Periyar Government College, Government Arts and Scince College at Tiruverumbur, Urumu Dhanalakshmi College, Industrial Training Institute, and Arignar Anna Government Arts and Science College at Musiri.
Load men affiliated to CITU and LLF staged a protest at the Gandhi Market demanding answer from the Central Government to the plight of the deceased Anitha’s father Shanmugam, a co-worker. They called for scrapping of NEET permanently.
Around 15 members of the student wing of Manitha Neya Makkal Katchi were arrested when they burnt portraits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman and BJP National Secretary H. Raja.
Members of Tiruchi Bar Association staged a demonstration in front of the District Court premises, expressing their solidarity with the demand for NEET abolition by the student community.
In Pudukottai district, police had to be deployed in strength around the Government Medical College to stave off trouble as classes for the first batch of students were inaugurated. Nearly 50 persons belonging to CPI, AIDWA, DYFI, SFI, and Naam Tamizhar Katchi were secured when they attempted to obstruct the function.
In Thanjavur, students of the Government Raja Serfoji Arts College and Kundavai Nachiyar Government Arts College for Women boycotted classes and staged demonstrations condemning the Central and State governments over their policies towards the NEET exams.
Section of the students belonging to the Tamil University also staged a protest demonstration in front of their institution premises during the day highlighting the same issues.
Members of the Tamil Nadu Puducherry Advocates Joint Action Committee Coordinator Sivasubramanian led a protest by the legal fraternity at the District Court Complex and among other issues sought a comprehensive judicial probe into the suicide of Anitha. They then took out a rally to the Old Bus Stand where the police persuaded them to disperse when they attempted to stage a road roko.
Cadres of the Makkal Marumalarchi Kazhagam led by the president Murugesan staged a demonstration in front of the Head Post Office and tried to burn the effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Puthiya Tamizhagam leader Krishnaswamy.
In Kumbakonam, students of the Government Arts College boycotted classes, took out a rally from the college to the Gandhi Park, staged demonstrations outside the Park as also in their institution. They demanded justice to the family of Anitha.
Struggle Coordinator M. Sangatamizhan led the demonstration in which Revolutionary Students Youth Federation district treasurer Bruno, and Tamil Nadu Students Association state general secretary Prabhakaran, spoke.
Students and politicians staged protest demonstrations in Tiruvarur and Mannargudi in Tiruvarur district raising the same issues and insisting that Tamil Nadu must be exempted from NEET.
In Tiruvarur, the protesters demanded that Anitha’s parents must be given ₹ 25 lakh as solatium.